Financing Your First Santa Cruz Home

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Sunday, August 12th, 2012 at 1:01am.

With the slump in the economy, many would-be home buyers are being more cautious than they might have been ten years ago. This is a good thing, especially if it’s their first Santa Cruz home. Smart buyers budget their income, do their market research and get their funds in order before they begin house hunting.

Whether you’re ready to purchase a new Santa Cruz home now or the dream is still a little ways down the road, take the time to prepare your finances now. Below is some advice to consider before starting your home search.

• Save, save, save! You’ll need to have a down payment of about 10 to 20% of the price of the home, unless you qualify for a Federal Housing Association loan. FHA loans usually only require a down payment of around 3.5% of the cost of the home.

• Check on your credit score. You can access your credit score for free once per year through one of the three major credit bureaus, which are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You’ll want to ensure there are no mistakes on your credit report. If there are, get them fixed before you apply for a loan. A high credit score could more easily secure your loan and get you a lower interest rate with lower monthly payments.

• Shop around. Check with at least three mortgage lenders to see who can give you the best interest rate and terms.

• Reserve some money for first-year expenses. Many buyers focus so much on the purchase of the home that they forget about expenses like new furniture, a lawnmower, a washer and dryer, and possible appliance repairs. Try to put away $5,000 or more just in case.

Don’t get ahead of yourself when it comes to real estate. Purchasing a house will be much less stressful if you take the time to get your finances in order first.

If you want more tips on getting funds in place to purchase a Santa Cruz home, please call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at

For additional information please visit my homepage at


Starting your home search

Federal Housing Association

Credit score

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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